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Equinox p2 1.0 Technical Specs

User Interaction

Managing other profiles
p2 inherently supports the management of profiles other than the one currently running the p2 infrastructure. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Mechanism to identify the profile managing a product. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Mechanism to identify the agent (agent data area) managing a product. Priority: 1.
  • UI to browse profiles. This may be used in the target management as part of the tooling. Priority: 3
Drag and drop installation
Ok green.gif Users can install new function by dragging and dropping the related files (JARs, directories, zips, ...) on a running Eclipse. Priority: 2
  • Relationship between this and the directory watcher
  • UI to support this kind of metaphor
Browser-based installation
Installation of new function can be triggered by users clicking on a link in a browser. Priority: 3
  • Mechanism to find running instances of eclipse
  • Mechanism to invoke a p2
Directory monitoring
Users can designate any number of directories to be watched. When installable elements (e.g., bundle JARs and directories) are copied into or remove from watched directories, their contents are installed or uninstalled (respectively). Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Support for installing metadata-less bundles (Need to invoke the metadata generator). Priority: 1
  • Support for installing metadata-aware bundles. Need to define a serialized format of IUs for embedding with the bundle. Do we have a concept of artifact repository. Priority: 2
  • Mechanism to control the frequency at which directories are being polled. Priority: 2
  • UI to add/remove watched folders and set the polling frequency. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif Define backward compatibility with UM links and extensions folders. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Integration into the startup sequence. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Relationship with the shared install and the reconciler.
Update scheduling and policies
Ok green.gif p2 supports a number of update policies allowing users to, for example, set update polling periods, schedule updates and have detected updates automatically downloaded. Priority: 1
  • See also Staged provisioning.
  • Ok green.gif Need a way to notify the user about available installations. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Need a way to set the frequency of checks. Priority: 1.
Headless operation
All p2 function is accessible through command-line or programmatic interfaces. Complete installation operations can be performed without a graphical user interface. Some operations support the use of response files to silently provide input. Priority: 2
Remembered signers
Users are able to accept signer certificates and not be asked each time such remembered certificates are encountered. The set of remembered certificates is managed through a preference page that allows for certificates to be added and removed. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif Storage for remembered signers
  • Ok green.gif Mechanism to present signatures, see also callable User Input.
Integrated user prompting
Prompts for security information (e.g., login, certificate trust, ...) are consistent and well-integrated into the user workflow. Priority: 2
p2 will provide an internationalized installation experience. Priority: 1.
  • Support for DBCS in the metadata, the artifact names, the install paths. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Ability to install a translated version of a software. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Ability to translate the content of the metadata while browsing the repository. Priority: 2.

Download technology

Automatic detection of proxy/socks settings from the OS/Browser
Ok green.gif p2 uses the standard Eclipse proxy and socks settings management system and integrates such settings from the OS and browsers. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif (ECF) Ensure platform proxy settings are being used. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif (Platform) Detection of OS / Browser proxy settings. Priority:3
Adaptive downloads and mirror selection
p2 dynamically adapts its artifact download strategy based the characteristics of the servers available, the connection speeds and the system being provisioned. Retries are automatically attempted and mirrors re-selected depending on failures. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Simple mirror selection. Priority: 1.
  • Support to get stats as we go. Priority: 2.
  • Support to query repo for partially obtained artifacts. Priority: 2.
  • Interaction of restartable download with processing steps. Priority: 2.
  • Query property from artifact repositories. Priority: 2.
  • Query transports available. Priority: 2.
Download integrity through MD5/SHA1 and signature verification
The integrity of downloaded artifacts can be verified using MD5/SHA1 hashing algorithms and/or signature verification. Priority: 1
  • SHA1 processing step and publication steps. Priority: 2.
  • Ok green.gif MD5 processing step and publication steps. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Signature verification processing step. Priority: 1.
Integrated compression technologies
p2 allows artifact repositories to maintain artifacts in a variety of formats (e.g., compressed using pack200, JAR and binary deltas relative to previous versions, etc.). This can dramatically reduce the bandwidth requirements for new software installations. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Pack 200 processing step and publication step. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif General delta processing step and publication step. Priority: 2.
  • Jar delta processing step and publication step. Priority: 2.
  • See also repository optimizers tool.
Peer-to-peer downloads
Since all downloads in p2 are based on a mirroring metaphor, artifacts and metadata can come from repositories on central servers or peer machines on a local network. Priority: 2
  • Publication of local repositories as http. Priority: 2.
  • Announcement of available repositories on the network (e.g. SLP). Priority: 2.
Transparent restart
Aborted installations and downloads can be restarted without refetching. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Artifact repositories as pools. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Garbage collector of artifacts. Priority: 1
  • Repositories to support restart for failed downloads. Priority: 2.
Download time estimation
Estimation of the download time as the download progresses. Priority: 2
Repository seeding
Repositories are able to reference other repositories and thus inform p2 of additional sources of artifacts and metadata. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Define a way to discover other repositories and add them. Priority: 1.
Media support
p2 supports and properly manages the interaction with repositories stored on removable and volume-oriented media such as CDs, DVDs. Priority: 2
  • Define repository format for volume-oriented repositories. Priority: 2
  • Ensure compatibility of the smart download manager with such medias. Priority: 2.


Metadata signing
Metadata is signed to ensure content integrity. Priority: 3
Secure transports (https, ...)
Secure transports such as https are supported. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif (Security) Certificate storage
  • Ok green.gif (ECF) Support for https connection
  • Ok green.gif (ECF/Security) ECF / Security integration for prompting and storing certificates.
Repository trust
p2 has the ability to identify repositories as trusted or untrusted as well as white and black lists of domains housing repositories. Priority: 2
  • Define white list / black list and integrate into the repository managers.
  • Define a notion of trusted repository. How is the trust established. What are the implications of being trusted. Where is this information stored.
Repository authentication
p2 supports a variety of mechanisms for authenticating to servers. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif Support to query the user for login / pwd. Priority: 1.
JAR signature verification
Ok green.gif Signed JARs downloaded from untrusted repositories are verified to establish trust. Priority: 1

Core facilities

Generic Metadata
Underlying p2 is a generic metadata model of Installable Units. p2 metadata captures dependencies on non-Eclipse/OSGi based elements (e.g., JREs, native code, other applications, ...) as well as on physical elements of the machine (e.g., number of CPUs, amount of memory or drive space). Priority: 1
  • Define a generic model of capabilities / requirements. Priority: 2.
  • Define the way by which some capabilities get populated. For example how do we know the OS. See also JRE reconcialiation pb which is similar. Priority: 2.
  • Ok green.gif Separate meta-level capabilities and requirements from the base level ones. This factors in the discussion Properties vs. Capabilities. Priority: 1.
  • Separate the dependency information from the configuration one. [This needs to be clarified].
  • Support for canonicalization of the version numbers. Priority:3.
  • Ok green.gif See also Fix delivery
  • Ok green.gif See also Update delivery
Ok green.gif Shared (multi-user) installs
Scenarios where Eclipse installs are shared across multiple users is streamlined. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Support Vista. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Support Linux. Priority: 1.
Ok green.gif Bundle pooling
Ok green.gif p2 pools the set of bundles installed across the profiles it manages such that any given bundle appears only once on disk. This saves disk space as well as dramatically speeding subsequent installation operations. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Support for multiple bundle pools per profile. Priority: 1.
Garbage collection of unused bundles
Bundles no longer used in any managed profiles are garbage collected according to a flexible policy. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Bundle pool garbage collector. Priority: 1.
  • Metadata garbage collector. Priority: 2.
  • Need a way to ensure that a bundle pool is only used by one agent to avoid problems with GC. Priority: 1.
Resilience to install problems
p2 provides a best effort approach to ensure that failed installations do not leave the system in an inconsistent state. This includes a safe mode for the provisioning infrastructure itself. Priority: 1
  • Define a way to recover from p2 information loss.
    • Self contained installs (eclipse 3.3 shape). Priority: 1.
    • Other shapes. Priority: 2.
  • Define a way to recover from a crash during the installation. Priority: 2.
    • The engine could persist the operation currently being performed. This allows for reboot of the provisioned system during an installation, as well as for checkpointing on restart in case the system crashed during an installation. Priority: 2.
    • Support for Touchpoint actions to store previous state. This allows for recovering from a crash. Priority: 2.
  • Progress.gif Leave the provisioned thing in a functional state when the installation is canceled. Priority: 1.
    • Progress.gif Touchpoint actions need to capture previous state before doing their work. Priority: 1.
  • Resilience to corrupted files. Priority: 1.
Ok green.gif Fix delivery
Fixes to existing installed function can be installed and uninstalled without updating the base function. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Define metadata for fixes. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Define the lifecycle of the fixes, when do they get installed, how do they get discovered, when are they uninstalled. Priority: 1.
Sequenced provisioning
Users and developers can mandate that various update and install operations must be executed prior to attempting subsequent operations. Priority: 2
  • Define markup identifying such updates.
  • Adapt the director to detect such updates and process them accordingly.
Staged provisioning
Ok green.gif Provisioning operations can be staged such that all required artifacts are downloaded and then, at some later time, the actual installation and configuration executed. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif Ability to invoke the engine by specifying different phases.
Fine grain installation
Ok green.gif p2 supports the installation of individual Installable Units as well as groups of Installable Units. Since typically one IU represents one bundle, p2 allows for the installation of individual bundles. Priority: 1
Ok green.gif Dynamic dependency discovery
When p2 is asked to install an IU it can optionally attempt to satisfy all prerequisites by discovering and installing other IUs that supply the required capabilities. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif Explore a resolution algorithm supporting backtracking. Priorty 1.
Ok green.gif Managing non-running systems
p2 is able to manage Eclipse profiles even when the profile is not active/running. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Headless functionality. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif User interface. Priority:3 (same than item in the user interaction).
Managing running systems
p2 is able to manage and properly interact with running Eclipse profiles. For example, triggering restarts of the remove system as needed. Priority: 2
  • Ability for touchpoint to cause a runtime to be started / stopped / restarted. Priority: 2.
  • Ability to update eclipse.exe. Priority: 2.
Users can restore previous states of a profile. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Remember previous state of the system at the profile level and allow for returning to a previous state. Priority: 1.
    • Need to name previous state and identify the cause of the changes. Priority: 1.
    • Ok green.gif Need to group/batch the changes done on a profile and have an API allowing for such a thing. Priority: 1.
    • Decide whether or not this is core to the agent. Priority: 2.
    • Define a mechanism allowing to set the purge policy. Priority: 2.
Profile interchange
Profiles can be manipulated and exchanged between users. This allows previous setups to be stored and recreated and for users to exchange profiles. Priority: 3
Revert to the previous install
When an installation succeeds but is not satisfactory, users can revert the system to the exact same state as it was before. Priority: 3
  • Remember previous state of the machine at the system level (e.g. snapshot the file system, the registry, etc.). Priority:3.
    • Define a phase and an API allowing for such operation to be done. Priority:3.
    • Provide a preference to disable such a mechanism and to also purge.
OS integration
Applications installed using p2 can be tightly integrated with the underlying operating system. For example, desktop shortcuts, registry entries, etc. can be deployed as part of the installation. Priority: 2
The governor represents an authority allowing or vetoing provisioning operations. Priority: 2.
  • Review if the AccessController like model is suitable.
  • Define which operations must be protected.
  • Define how it gets the context in which the operation is executed.
Framework Admin
Framework admin is an API allowing for the transparent manipulation of OSGi frameworks. Priority: 1.
Simple configurator
Simple configurator is the bundle responsible for taking the description of a system and applying it.
  • Validate performances on large configurations. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Provide an option to have simple configurator play nice with others (don't delete bundles it does not know about). Priority: 1.
  • Decide if simple configurator checks for the start levels programmatically. Priority: 1.
  • Review the way start levels are being changed. Priority: 2.
* Nested profiles. Ability to have profiles refer to each others. Priority: 2.
* Variables. Ability to parameterize the installation and configuration of an IU. Priority: 2.
* File locator. Ability to locate a file within an IU (Priority: 1) and from another IU (Priority: 2). This has an implication on the actions who refer to files and who lay down files.
* Agent data sharing.
** Need a way to lock the agent data area to prevent multiple processes collision. Priority: 1.
** Need a way to share the agent data area across multiple running processes. Priority: 2.
* How do we interact with multiple agent data area from within one process. Priority: 1.
** Is it needed?
** What is needs to be accessed (e.g. profile registry, install registry, ...)?
* Flavors. Review the concept of flavor and the default flavor we ship. Priority: 1.
* Ok green.gif Markers. Review and refine the concept of installable unit markers and their lifecycle. Priority: 2.
* Make the agent dynamic. Priority: 2.
* Ok green.gif Scalability. Priority: 1.
* Ok green.gif Reconciliation with some "changeable" part of a profile (e.g. JRE).

UM Compatibility

Update site integration
See also Update Manager and p2 Compatibility
p2 is able to read existing update sites created for use with Update Manager. Indexing and conversion tools are provided for optimizing the use of such sites. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Metadata generator tool to run over update sites. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Support for mapping update site categories in p2 style categorization. Priority: 2.
  • Ok green.gif Define representation of categories in p2. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Support to install from pure old-style update site. Several alternatives:
    • Use the update manager code and have it generates the bundles.txt. We may still use the new UI but in degraded mode.
    • Ok green.gif On the fly generation of Metadata / artifact repos, reusing MayInstall code.
Feature compatibility
The feature data structure is not part of the p2 infrastructure but p2 allows Update Manager Features to be published to metadata and artifact repositories. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Does p2 continue still deliver the features out of the box?
  • Ok green.gif When a user uses 3.4 and it has features depending on the features from the SDK, what happens?
Ok green.gif Feature Install Handlers
Ok green.gif Feature install handlers continue to work in p2 with some restrictions. A migration/porting guide helps developers in moving to the new infrastructure. Priority: 1
Ok green.gifLinks directory
Ok green.gif p2 includes tooling to publish existing Eclipse installs into metadata and artifact repositories. This :includes the correct traversal of links directories. Priority: 1
  • See Directory monitoring

This covers other subtle cases that were made possible by Update Manager.

  • Ok green.gif Installations are movable when they are self-contained. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Review the concept of policy files. Priority: 1.


Generation of p2 repositories at build time
The PDE build mechanism produces metadata and artifact repositories as part of the normal build. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif Application and Ant task to publish content into repositories
  • Ok green.gif Application and Ant task to generate metadata / artifacts from existing bundles / features
  • Ok green.gif Modification of the build infrastructure to produce artifact and metadata repos
Generation of p2 enabled products at build time
Ok green.gif The PDE build mechanism produces all of the p2 related artifacts and metadata (e.g., install registry, profile, ...) when RCP apps are being built. This allows applications deployed as zips to be p2 enabled out of the box. Priority: 1.
  • Ok green.gif Modification of the product build to produce p2 enabled products. This may not be necessary if p2 is able of bootstrapping itself.
Streamlined p2 self-hosting
PDE incrementally and continuously produces p2 metadata and artifact information based on the contents of the workspace and target platform. This simplifies the development of p2-enabled applications by eliminating the need for time-consuming deployment and export cycles while testing and allowing developers to install bundles directly from their workspace without exporting or deploying. Priority: 2
  • PDE Model watcher invoking the metadata generation facility and generate artifacts
  • Provision on launch
  • Definition of a metadata generator advise format, see if this somewhat relates to an externalized format of the IU. Priority: 1.
Provisioning the target
PDE's Target Provisioner mechanism has been extended to allow the use of p2 when adding bundles to the target platform. This allows bundle developers to benefit from all facilities in p2 when managing their targets. Priority: 3
  • Profile browser
  • Discovery of the profile and agent by which an eclipse is managed
  • Workflow / User UI to add IUs to the target
Repository browsers and editors
p2 tooling includes browsers and editors for the artifact and metadata repositories. Users can view, add and remove elements from local and remote p2 repositories. Priority: 2
  • Provide viewers to browse repo content
  • Provide addition / removal capabilities of item into repository
  • Provide IU / artifact correlation tool to check if all the artifacts of an IU are available in an artifact repository, to remove all the artifacts related to an IU, etc.
Metadata Authoring
p2 tooling will offer the ability to author installable units. Priority:3.
  • Define a serialized format of IUs for edition purpose.
  • Define an editor and a model allowing for ease of edition.
  • ...
Migration tools
Developers can deploy existing features and Eclipse product configurations into p2 repositories using p2 Publisher tools that automatically transform runtime and Update Manager markup into p2 data structures and add this data and artifacts to the relevant repositories. Priority: 1 if p2 can not bootstrap itself.
Repository Optimizers
p2 includes tools that analyze, transform and optimize the artifacts in an artifact repository to improve download time, enhance security, etc. Priority: 1
  • Ok green.gif Ability to publish artifacts with known processing steps
  • Ok green.gif Application and Ant task to optimize a repository
Mirroring tools
  • Ok green.gif Artifact and metadata repositories can be duplicated in whole or in part using a set of tools included in p2. Priority: 2
  • Ok green.gif Application and Ant task to invoke the mirroring application. Do we get much over rsync?

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